A former fashion editor at Vogue and beauty and health editor at Harper’s Bazaar, Maureen founded Lippe Taylor in 1988, determined to stimulate creativity amid a void of innovation in brands’ marketing to media. With fierce strategies and a tenacious personality, Maureen has spent more than twenty-five years launching over 100 consumer, fashion and beauty brands that empower women of every age to look good doing what they love. To make her insider scoop the experiential event of the season, Maureen has called lights, camera, action as a fashion and beauty correspondent for ABC. Behind the scenes, Maureen is also the only non-physician member of the Skin Cancer Foundation and was honored by the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation as a Woman Who Cares.
Q: Does your business offer products, services or support for women? If yes, please explain what that is and why it brings you great personal fulfillment?
A: Our company is all about “marketing to women” at every stage and phase of their lives. We are constantly trying to crack the code on what motivates women to buy or not buy certain products and services. I’ve been in the “woman space” for over 30 years, first as a beauty and fashion editor at Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and now as the CEO of a communication agency. It is the most rewarding space for me as I love and respect women and feel marketers have to understand that “Girls Rule” and if you don’t learn how to market correctly to them they will “rule you out.”
Q: Innovation requires creative thinking. How do you tap into the creative thinking resources within your business?
A: We have a very unique space, which fosters creativity. We have “huddle areas” where staff can get away and brainstorm, we have an open plan space which fosters integration and innovation and we conduct very amusing and inspired brainstorm sessions that include staff from the lowest to the highest levels. We are an agency known for innovation and the unexpected “blow your socks off” programs.
Q: What’s your best advice for an entrepreneur in an early/bootstrapping phase? Or in a growth/need to ‘now scale’ phase?
A: Important advice from my husband when I was starting out Lippe Taylor was “it’s time to hire.” I thought I could do it all myself and I didn’t want to pay salaries. When I realized that was the best advice, I staffed up and the business grew like crazy and I could maintain some semblance of sanity as a business owner and as a mom and wife. You can’t grow without talent behind you for support and execution.
Q: How much time do you spend on networking versus focusing on the internal affairs of your business (such as management, strategy, ideation etc)?
A: Being in the communications agency business, I should be aggressively networking, but honestly, I’m not spending enough time at this important task. In the earlier stages of the business I was out a lot and sat on a lot of boards. Today, I’m more focused on building the business and focused on client service. That said, I believe “strategic networking” is critical to the success of almost any business. But, you have to be smart and selective and not waste your time. There has to be a balance of business development in the office and networking outside the office.
Q: What do you believe makes a great brand?
A: Passion, client due diligence, the best and the brightest staff, being dedicated to client service and strategy with a very creative execution. That’s what has made Lippe Taylor successful.
Q: Do you (formally or informally) mentor anyone? If so, who and why is it rewarding?
A: Mentoring is critically important to me. I have mentored hundreds of women on my journey and theirs. It is central to who I am as a woman and my belief that I must give back. I was mentored by extraordinary women who have made me who I am today. It would be very bad karma to not continue the circle.
Q: What do you think is the key to happiness?
A: I was born a happy person and for that I am blessed. It takes a lot to get me down or depressed. I am blessed with a magnificent husband and son who give me more love than I can even put in words. I have had a beautiful and inspiring mother and father who blessed me with their love. I have great and loyal friends that I have had for many years. I have a company that is a “blast” every day and that fulfills me intellectually and spiritually because I work with such amazing people including the most appreciative and rewarding clients. I ask you, could a girl ask for anything more?
Q: Life is full of setbacks. Can you share an experience of one, and how you were able to bounce back?
A: The two biggest setbacks in my life were when my parents passed away. For the first time in my life I realized I wasn’t in complete control. There are just some things in life that are beyond your being able to “fix” or “prevent.” My heart and spirit were broken but I had to push forward and speak at their funerals and go back to my family and business as a whole and functioning person. These are the moments that make you stronger, prove your resilience and make you an “adult” in a matter of seconds.
ON Giving Back
Q: Can you share with us an experience of giving that was extremely rewarding or transformational?
A: Working for ‘Women In Need,’ a shelter for homeless women and children, for over 12 years as a volunteer was a transformational experience for me. I set up a “Makeover Program” for the residents that visited five shelters once a month doing hands on workshops on makeup, hair care, nail care, general health, breast health and fitness and interview skills with the top celebrity stylists and giving great products. We were trying to get these women back on their feet and prepare them to go out and get jobs. It was so rewarding and inspirational for me to come in contact once a month with these most inspiring and beautiful women. I think of them often and will never forget their special children.
Q: Oprah has that great section in her magazine “What I know for sure.” What do you know for sure?
A: Family is everything!
Q: In the world, what are your three favorite destinations?
A: India, South of France and Mykonos
Q: In the world, what are your three favorite places to get lost?
A: My husband’s arms, getting a head massage from my son, a good book
Q: In the world, what are your three favorite places to shop?
A: St. Tropez Saturday Market, Florence, Mykonos
Q: In the world, what are your three favorite restaurants?
A: ABC Kitchen in NYC, Monkey Bar in NYC, Balthazar in NYC
Q: What do you believe is the secret to finding the right person and maintaining a long term, good relationship?
A: Good luck is how you find the right partner. Mutual trust and respect is how you keep them.
Q: Who are your favorite designers?
A: Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford
Q: What are the beauty items you could not live without?
A: Albolene for removing makeup and mascara, 8 Hour Cream by Elizabeth Arden, Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup
ON Personal Finance
Q: What are your top 3 personal finance tips for women?
A: Don’t spend what you don’t have!
Invest in things you can touch, enjoy and share, like real estate!
Pay off credit card debt the day the bill comes in to avoid interest!